300 years and 4000 miles apart, one living in Imperial Japan and one in India under British rule, the differences between Takuan Soho, a Zen Master and Ramana Maharshi, an Indian Guru, couldn't have been more. But their expressions, the realization of what they truly are, are strikingly similar. Here is a taste:
True Self is the Self that existed before the division of heaven and earth and before one's father and mother were born. This Self is the Self within me, the birds and the beasts, the grasses and the trees and all phenomena. It is exactly what is called 'Buddha Nature".
This Self has no shape or form, has no birth, has no death. It is not a Self that can be seen with the aid of your present physical eye. Only the man who has received enlightenment is able to see this. The man who does see this is said to have seen into his own nature and became a Buddha. It is to use neither thought nor reasoning and to look straight ahead.
If a man considers that he is born, he cannot avoid the fear of death. Let him find out if he has been born or if the Self has any birth. He will discover that the Self always exists, that the body that is born resolves itself into thought and that the emergence of thought is the root of all mischief. Find from where thoughts emerge. Then you will be able to abide in the ever-present inmost Self and be free from the idea of birth or the fear of death.